Ways to encourage your kids to drink more water
t's a good idea to offer your child something to drink often, especially during warm weather, because young bodies can become dehydrated so easily and because children are more likely than adults to ignore their thirst when they're busy playing. In fact, by the time your child realizes that she's thirsty, she's probably already dehydrated. Lack of fluids can make her tired or dizzy or give her a headache, but in most cases she'll ask for a drink before more serious symptoms set in. (Unless your child is having severe vomiting or diarrhea, it's unlikely that she'll become dangerously dehydrated from not drinking enough.)
Any beverage — or even a Popsicle or a juicy fruit like watermelon — can help to slake a child's thirst. But water plays such a vital role in how the body functions that it should be a first choice when your child is thirsty. Among other things, water regulates the body's temperature by allowing you to sweat, it carries waste away in the urine, and it moves nutrients and other substance throughout the body. If your child refuses to drink plain water, try giving her watered-down juice. Soda with caffeine is a poor choice for a thirsty child since the caffeine will cause her to urinate more frequently and lose more body fluids than she's gaining.
Children get an added benefit from drinking water (as long as it's fluoridated): It helps their teeth grow strong. Fluoride strengthens the outer coating of the teeth and makes them less susceptible to decay. It can also help repair any damage to teeth. Furthermore, fluoride strengthens teeth that are still growing in the gums, so even if your child still has her baby teeth, getting enough fluoride helps to ensure the health of her adult teeth to come.